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MTN Group Courts Millicom & Rocket Internet to Build Online Venture’s in Africa

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MTN_Logo_only South Africa’s MTN Group has joined Millicom and Rocket Internet to stir Africa’s e-commerce sector by leveraging on MTN’s and Millicom’s highly complementary footprints in Africa and Rocket Internet’s know-how in online services.
MTN with over 203.8 million subscribers across its operations will own one-third Africa Internet Holding AIH and have equal representation on the Board of the company. MTN will also bring on board its expertise in telcos across continents into AIH.

AIH offers a broad range of services from real estate classifieds to electronics marketplace, food delivery to fashion e-commerce and hotel booking to taxis ordering. It is now active in 13 African countries. In the past twelve months, AIH has accelerated its development and launched six new ventures (Hellofood, Kaymu, Lamudi, Carmido, Easy Taxi and Jovago) and entered nine new markets (Kenya, Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Algeria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Ivory Coast).  The latest initiatives from AIH include the launch of Kaymu, Africa’s leading marketplace, in Ghana and the integration of Millicom’s mobile financial services product with AIH services in Rwanda and Tanzania.

According to Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and CEO, “Rocket Internet’s proven successful track record, coupled with Millicom’s and MTN’s leading mobile telecommunications position, will allow the partnership to capture the growth potential of the digital media space across our combined footprint”

The deal is expected to be completed in Q2 2014 and follows Millicom and Rocket Internet’s deal signed in August 2012.

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Oliver Samwer, co-founder of Rocket Internet further added, “The strategic partnership between Rocket Internet, Millicom and MTN is unique and will enable AIH to reach more consumers with better services. We feel very strong about AIH existing and future ventures in Africa and look forward to working with our new partner.”

Operating in 15 countries, Millicom provides mobile services, access to the internet, content and financial services to close to 49 million customers in Africa and Latin America while MTN, a leader in Nigeria and South Africa, the largest markets for AIH currently. Millicon says one year after first investing in AIH, the firm is convinced that there is potential for African online services to grow strongly and leapfrog traditional retail.

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“We are at the same time extremely positive about the synergies between running a mobile business and offering online services, through the opportunities to leverage the distribution network, the customer base and the payment infrastructure. With MTN and Rocket Internet, we will accelerate the development of AIH to benefit all customers,” said Millicom President & CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht.

Albrecht added that MTN as a strategic partner to accelerate the growth of AIH’s online alliance in Africa. It is a significant vote of confidence in its future.

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakobahttp://techmoran.com
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs  TechMoran.com, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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